4 Ways To Use Humor As A Dealer Of Hope“Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone.” Ella Wheeler
One of the greatest gifts you can give to others is the gift of humor. Yet using humor to lift other’s spirits is a little more complicated than at first glance. The most effective humor comes from knowing who you are, being who you are, accepting who you are, and appreciating who you are.
This also includes accepting your failures, weaknesses, short-comings, and those areas where you don’t match up. Masking them does not make them go away. It only drives them deeper, and that does not make them disappear.
What does this have to do with humor? Humor communicates self-acceptance, self-appreciation, and self-love. The word “humor” and “human” are closely related. Humor is the grease that keeps the wheel of life turning. It eases the friction that comes as life grinds on the axle.
The ancients knew this. The 3000 year old Proverb states, “A merry heart does good, like medicine. But a broken spirit dries the bones.”
Humor is good medicine for the soul. But don’t discount the power of its preventative maintenance. It’s an icebreaker during times of awkwardness. It increases productivity when there seems to be a shortage of energy. It releases stress that is doing damage. It cures many ills that seem to lack remedy.
It’s a great influencer among family, among friends, and among peers. It helps you look at mistakes with clear and fresh eyes. It makes you – not bilingual, but multilingual as it translates into many cultures and languages.
Humor doesn’t condemn. It doesn’t scold or sermonize with “I told you so.” And for the health conscious, laughter burns calories!
We are fond of saying that attitude is everything. Well, humor is a major component of attitude. And attitude impacts everything we do and everyone we touch. Humor allows us to look at the lighter side of life. It sets us up to enjoy what we do. And when we enjoy what we do there is an appeal that entrances others.
Try these 4 tips as you develop an appealing sense of humor:
- Notice what is light, fun, and humorous about your self. The result will be that people will migrate toward you. When you laugh at life, be sure to laugh at yourself. When you show your humorous side, others will love you for it.
- Ditch the “heavy load” attitude. The heavy load baggage pulls others down. It’s repelling. I’m not talking about being unauthentic. Just the opposite. I’m talking about your response to life’s issues. Find that humor vitamin in the manure pile. It’s in there somewhere! See the humor. It not only is attractive, but has the added advantage called “perspective.” It increases clarity of thought as you approach your issues. When we take ourselves too seriously, we become like a closed door with a “not available” sign on it.
- Know your context. According to studies (Psychology Today, etc.), women tend to use humor as a way of enhancing relationships. Men have a tendency to use it to enhance their personas. A woman will often retell a story of a comic moment that everyone shared last “Thanksgiving” holiday. Where WE guys are more likely to treat our guests as our personal audience and play to their laughs. This is part of our DNA and our difference. It’s been proven that men like jokes and slapstick more than women. (My wife would often stare incredulously at my viewing habits with the honest question, “Is that funny to you?”). Women find more humor in collaborative stories. The key is to learn from one another and use humor in more than one way. Knowing our context can go a long way in connecting through humor. And NO ONE ever errors by being self-effacing.
- Be intentional about lifting others up. We are like elevators. We are either lifting others up, or taking them down. Keep smiling. It will even make your enemies rethink their position. And intentionally lifting others up makes you appealing, especially to burdened souls. Don’t shy away from it.
Humor puts ourselves in perspective. It’s a big part of what makes us human. It helps us see past our fears and sorrows. It enables us to reach out to people we love with a light touch instead of a heavy hand. When levity is absent, relationships become laborious.
Do you know someone who is hurting, depressed, down and out, or ready to give up? Try humor -–self-effacing humor.
Perfection is the essence of God. Laughter is the inspiration of God. Let’s be intentional about using it.